By Olivia Seecof
Professors, families, students and community members were all in attendance at the September 11th Tenth Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony, with an overflow of attendees sitting in the aisles and standing behind the seats.
The September 11th Planning Committee, originated by Dean of Students Amy Badal, began work on this week’s commemorative events last spring. The events included many community service opportunities and a commemorative ceremony.
Student speakers gave accounts of what the attacks and aftermath meant to them. “Ten years later, it is still as important as ever to always remember those we lost on that day and to continue to work together to make the world a better place,” Isabelle Catalano ’12 said in her speech.
Many of the students on the committee were interns at the non-profit VOICES of September 11 headquarters. VOICES of September 11th, provides information and support services, as well as annual commemorative events for the families, rescue workers and survivors of the Sept. 11 attacks. The organization, founded by Mary Fetchet, mother of a University alum who perished in the attacks, promotes public policy reform on prevention, preparedness and response to terrorism by building bridges among communities that have been affected by terrorism all over the world.
Students sold t-shirts, handed out pins and signed a personalized flag.
“After working at VOICES of September 11th this summer with Megan Lenihan, I was happy to get involved with the planning committee,” said Alison Dyott ’14, one of the committee members.
The week of community service events gave campus members the opportunity to serve others while remembering and reflecting on the September 11 attacks.
“Doing service for 9/11 helps to honor those that were lost and those who rose to serve in response to the attacks,” said Lynn Pierson, assistant director for community service.
Service opportunities included volunteering at the Red Cross, painting and scraping the fence at the Lewisburg Cemetery and blanket-making for local children in need.
“In the wake of the flooding this area experienced, we were able to send some volunteers to the Red Cross to assist with different efforts that would help those affected. In addition, the blankets will greatly benefit area children and families that may have lost their belongings due to flooding,” Pierson said.
The Bucknell University Conservatives Club placed flags lining the field outside of the uphill Elaine Langone Center. It is their tradition to place 2,996 flags every year. University students crafted a large American flag to be hung in the Elaine Langone Center Hearth Space. Students could sign their name or write a memory on this flag to demonstrate the tie each one of us has to the September 11 events.
While the event was originally supposed to take place on the science quad, weather forced it into Trout Auditorium. The Rooke Chapel Choir opened the ceremony and committee member Megan Lenihan ’13 and Rabbi Serena Fujita gave opening remarks. President John Bravman gave remarks full of inspiration, understanding and comfort.
“As a New Yorker, I never felt more like a New Yorker than I did that day,” Bravman said.
Phil Kim ’12 presented a replica of a plaque that will be placed in the Memorial Garden located east of Rooke Chapel.
“It was really nice to see the campus community come out to support each other,” Kaitlyn Utkewicz ’14 said.
Biographies of four University alumni who died in the attacks were read by current students. These alumni were Bonnie Shihadeh Smithwick ’68, Keith Coleman ’90, Mark McGinley ’97 and Brad Fetchet ’99.
Beyond Unison concluded the ceremony with a performance of Jimmy Eat World’s “Hear You Me.”
“Overall, I thought the ceremony was beautiful. Way more people showed up than expected which really shows how much Bucknell students care,” Dyott said.